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Communications

Apple's Messages Offers Free Texting With a Side of iPhone Lock-In 179

itwbennett writes "Who doesn't love free text messages? People who try to transition from an iPhone to any other phone, that's who. Apple's Messages app actively moves conversations away from paid text messages to free Messages. Very convenient until you want to leave your iPhone and switch back to plain old text messages because suddenly you'll be unable to receive text messages from your iPhone-toting friends. There's an obscure workaround, and Samsung, which has a vested interest in the matter, has a lengthy guide to removing your iPhone as a registered receiver of Messages . But the experience is just annoying enough that it might be the kind of thing that would keep someone from making a switch — and that's when it starts to feel like deliberate lock-in, and not so much like something Apple overlooked."
Android

Google's Definition of 'Open' 168

An anonymous reader writes "One of Android's biggest draws is its roots in open source. It enables a broad range of device manufacturers to work from the same code base, and provides app developers with more insight into the platform they're building on. But openness isn't a binary condition — there are many shades of gray. While Android is technically very open, from a practical standpoint it's much more difficult for device makers to distance themselves from Google, if that's their preference. 'Phone manufacturers and carriers that want to use Google's services must conform to Google's device standards, a stricter requirement than what basic AOSP requires. For some, this is a catch. For others, it's merely the cost of doing business. ... [Dianne Hackborn, one of Android's tech leads,] defends Google's right to include proprietary services, and to keep them proprietary, saying that its no different than any other proprietary app on Android. That's not entirely true, since Google does keep some API development to itself, but to its credit the company does open-source most of the new APIs introduced to Android.'"
Windows

Ask Slashdot: What's Your Beef With Windows Phone? 1027

First time accepted submitter occasional_dabbler writes "Reviews by 'commentators' such as this one predict certain doom for both Nokia and Microsoft on the basis of the OS being a failure, yet whenever the Lumia handsets are reviewed in the mainstream press they are often highly praised. Windows phone is an immature OS, certainly, but it does pretty much everything you need in a smartphone, is getting better with each update and it is beautiful. I have a Lumia 800, and now I'm used to how it and the WP OS works I find it a painful process to go back to an Android or iPhone for some obscure app not yet supported on WP. WP gave me the same feeling I got when I bought my first iBook, fired up OS X 10.1 and realized I had just been shifted up a decade. So why so serious? What do Slashdotters who have really tried WP think of it?"
Microsoft

Microsoft's Killer Tablet Opportunity 282

snydeq writes "Advice Line's Bob Lewis sees ripe opportunity for Microsoft in the tablet market: Forget about outdoing Apple's iPad and give us the features that finally improve the way we work. 'The game isn't beating Apple at its own game. The magic buzzword is to "differentiate" and show what your technology will do that Apple won't even care about, let alone beat you at. One possible answer: Help individual employees be more effective at their jobs,' Lewis writes, outlining four business features to target, not the least of which would be to provide UI variance, enabling serious tablet users to expose the OS complexity necessary to do real work."
GUI

Microsoft Shows Off Radical New UI, Could Be Used In Windows 8 403

autospa writes "In a three and a half minute video, Microsoft may have shown the world what it has in store for the eagerly awaited Windows 8. In the video Microsoft showed a radically different interface from past versions of Windows — even Windows 7. Running on Surface 2, the touch-screen successor to the original Microsoft Surface, the device accepts input from a Windows Phone 7 handset (HTC HD7). Gone are the icons that drive Windows, OS X, and Linux operating systems of past and present. In their place are 'bubbles' that interact with files and post streaming information off the internet."
Cellphones

Android Phone Demand Up 250%, iPhone Down 445

CWmike writes "A 'monstrous' jump in demand for Android-equipped smartphones has turned the market upside down, according to a retail pollster. Of the people who told ChangeWave Research in a mid-December survey that they planned to buy a smartphone in the next 90 days, 21% said they expected to purchase an Android phone. That number represented a 250% increase over the 6% that pegged Android as their mobile OS of choice when ChangeWave last queried consumers' plans in September. 'That change rivals anything that we've seen in the last three years of the smartphone market,' said Paul Carton, ChangeWave's director of research, adding that the sudden surge in consumer interest in Android had 'roiled' the market. 'This is an indication that Android has finally caught consumer interest,' added Carton, who cited the recent advertising campaign for the Motorola Droid smartphone as the reason why interest in Android has skyrocketed. Android's leap translated into good news for Motorola and HTC, the most prominent makers of Google-powered handsets, with the former reaping most of the benefit. Motorola's share of smartphone purchases in the next 90 days shot up from 1% in September to 13% in December. Carton tagged the company's Droid as the reason. '[It's] the first increase for Motorola we've seen in three years,' Carton said." Here is the ChangeWave report.

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